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Warm base layers / long underwear

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by timbernet, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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    I am looking for a good winter base layer -- something to keep me warm while I walk from the car to the office or a store, etc... (and also for doing outdoors stuff)

    I've tried the Under Armour ColdGear --- nice stuff, but way too thin to block the cold -- only way to stay warm is to be really active.


    I looked at the SmartWool, but it is $75+ PER section... and it is made in China...

    Today I picked up a Patagonia Capilene 3 top and bottom, $45 each side - going to give those a try next time it falls in the low 40s.

    I've heard Duofold is decent... their prices range from $16-$35 each side -- not sure which model of those to get yet... it will likely be the $35 model with my luck....


    So what does the forum like?
     
  2. Dan-Dee Sales Inc

    Dan-Dee Sales Inc Sweet Home, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Smartwool is expensive but worth it. I sent you a PM about it. Super prices on all of our Smartwool this weekend.
     
  3. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I wore long underwear daily all Winter for decades. Duofold two-layer is the best moderately priced item, and is pretty durable. This is the stuff with an inner layer of comfortable cotton, and an outer layer of washable wool to wick away moisture. It keeps you warm even if it gets damp, and is not itchy.

    Now, if you can stand Chinese manufacture and want sublime comfort, get "heavyweight" SILK longjohns. These are surprisingly warm and lightweight and never get damp. Incredible comfort and worth the high price; very popular with skiiers and skaters. Cabela's used to be the cheapest source. Silk long underwear is only for MACHO men!.....................elsullo :thumbup:
     
  4. Sharf

    Sharf Pdx Member

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    Costco has some medium weight poly tops and bottoms for about $18 right now. Worth trying a pair.
     
  5. Dan-Dee Sales Inc

    Dan-Dee Sales Inc Sweet Home, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Polyproplyene are great, just be careful of a hot dryer.
     
  6. John Gault

    John Gault clackamas county Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Are you sure you were using the Cold Gear from UnderArmour? About the only thing I can do with that stuff on is breath. Tried to snowshoe up mount hood last winter in that stuff as a base layer thinking would keep me warm. Sweated the whole way up (not a good plan)

    If you end up with Patagonia let me know how you like. Haven't bought for same reasons $$
     
  7. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    I have the patatgonia base layers.....very nice product. I've used it for snow camping, as well as sitting on the bench at TCGC when it's 32 degree's.

    How you layer on top of it makes a big difference. Breathable layers wick moisture away and keep you dry and warm. I usually go with the Patagonia base, a dry fit second layer, a lightweight fleece layer and then a jacket. The latter being either a 'Pocketed' down Mountain Hardware, or a breathable shell depending on temperature and rain/snow.
     
  8. A2theK

    A2theK Olympia Member

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    I've found the Patagonia Expedition Weight the best and longest lasting (10yrs+) I've used this up to 15k feet and it's the best for me. Above 15K you'll want down over the top of it for more warmth.
     
  9. bersaguy

    bersaguy Oregon Member

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    +1 on the silk long johns from either Cabelas or LL Bean. Light in weight, warm and it does not feel like you are wearing a plastic bag.

    On a really cold day I'll wear the two ply (cotton/wool) River Drivers shirt from LL Bean. They make a great mid-layer or bottom layer if it is not too cold.

    Flannel shirt is next, topped off with a mackinaw wool cruiser from Filson! Now that is one warm puppy.
     
  10. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Clackamas County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I am sure that the high-tech synthetic stuff has improved quite a bit since the last time I wasted my money on it....so I am not disparaging it and I recommend that you consider synthetics with an open mind. My admitted prejudice is that the synthetics are over-hyped, over-priced and underperforming....so I gave up on them years ago and went back to the basics that have worked in the outdoors for professional outdoors men for a hundred years.

    I just never found (for any price) any synthetic material that was tolerable all day next to the skin. Much of it tended to absorb body odor and smell badly pretty quickly and the overall feel next to the skin just wasn't right. The plastic bag remark someone made was consistent with my experience. Hopefully the high tech synthetics industry have improved synthetics at least in that regard if nowhere else.

    Cotton or the Duofold concept is very nice as long as the climate is cold and dry. Like on the east side or interior Alaska. Not the best for the damp, although it will do well enough in "city" conditions or when you can get home at night and change. Not as great for repeated nights out in a camp. And, compared to the synthetics, it is reasonably priced, easy to wash and lasts quite a while.

    I like silk fabric best of all next to the skin for the typical PNW west-side wet winter, with wool or synthetic over that. The feel is superb, the insulation is more than adequate and you get what you pay for.
     
  11. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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    Yup - the ColdGear compression fit. I think if I was doing a lot of activity, like you were doing (snowshoeing) then yes, it would have kept me warm and dry. But just as a basic insulation when not very active... no go.

    I will give the Patagonia midweight a try when it is cold again.

    Then I will grab some Smartwool from Dan Dee when I can get down south again (2 hour drive each way - doesn't happen all the time)

    I will also look into the Silk stuff - from what I read online it sounds really nice!
     
  12. zeezee

    zeezee nowheresville Member

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    If you haven't tried Patagonia capilene you haven't tried the best. Wool? A big waste of time and energy when it gets wet because it takes forever to dry out. Cotton? LOL! That is criminally stupid if you are going to do anything but sit in a cold warehouse and God help you if you get it wet when you are a long walk from home. Silk? Stays wet almost as long as wool. Why waste your money on something that is second best when your life may depend on your base layer?